With the presidential inauguration just around the corner, a waste and pollution watchdog raised a real threat that could turn the propitious event to herald political change literally ugly.
The specter of Luneta littered with trash spurred the EcoWaste Coalition, an environmental network of over 100 groups pursuing Zero Waste, to call on the general public to strive for a litter-free inauguration of the country’s 15th President.
With tens of thousands of people expected to witness the historic event, littering is going to be a major problem, the EcoWaste Coalition warned.
“Let us demonstrate our respect for P-Noy and his commitment to ‘doing the right things’ towards a transformed nation by taking full responsibility for our discards during and after his installation. Please keep P-Noy’s inauguration simple and litter-free that we all can be proud of,” said Roy Alvarez, President, EcoWaste Coalition.
“A litter-free Luneta augurs well for the Aquino presidency and our nation’s continuing quest to build clean and toxic-free communities for our people,” he pointed out.
“The mass recital of the ‘Panata sa Pagbabago’ that will form part of the inaugural ceremonies should immediately translate to a collective action of not littering, picking up the trash and leaving Luneta spick-and-span after the rites. Luneta and the whole country for that matter is not a dumpsite,” said Romy Hidalgo, Vice-President, EcoWaste Coalition.
“We hope that soon after his inauguration P-Noy will launch and carry out an effective public campaign in the next six years to combat littering, an environmental offense, that has undesirably become a national culture of sort,” he stated.
The EcoWaste Coalition reminded the public that R.A. 9003 or the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act explicitly bans littering, an offense punishable by a fine of P300 to P1,000 or 1 to 15-day community service or both.
Towards a litter-free inauguration, the EcoWaste Coalition urged the general public to observe the following simple eco-tips:
1. Put your discards into the designated bins or bring an extra bag to carry away trash that you may be lured to leave behind in Luneta.
2. Bring your own water in reusable jug to avoid buying bottled water or “palamig” in one-time use plastic cup or bag.
3. Refrain from patronizing food sold or served in Styrofoam, return used food wrappers and utensils to the vendors and never litter them anywhere. Better still bring your own “baon” in reusable containers and keep them for future use.
4. Do put chewing gum in a bin after you’re done with it or put it back into the wrapper if there is no bin close by.
5. Don’t toss cigarette butts on the ground. Better still refrain from smoking or quit for keeps.
“We also recommend that the event organizers shun confetti, fireworks and balloons at the inauguration. In cooperation with the park management, we hope they will put up adequate portable toilets and separate waste bins for biodegradable and non-biodegradable discards in the assembly area,” the EcoWaste Coalition said.
“Furthermore, we urge concerned groups to refrain from distributing leaflets and similar materials that will most likely end up as litter as we have seen in past election campaign rallies and during the polling day itself,” it said.
“If this cannot be avoided, we urge those who will do so to ensure that they will pick up all littered materials after the inauguration,” it added.
Unit 329, Eagle Court Condominium
Matalino St., Quezon City, Philippines
+63 2 441-1846